4

Running over the same old ground

It’s been two months since we last met here, two months that have been a short blip in time but also feel so looonnngggg. It’s May, we’ve had the wonderful Beltane and things are starting to accelerate and grow and heat up.

This is my favourite time of the year, so full of promise and pregnant with expectation (a hangover from being a kid when summers felt endless and exciting). I won’t mention Derek (the virus), he’s still here, hanging around, meaning lots of us are still in lockdown, a situation as mentioned previously that is old hat to myself and other people with Chronic conditions. But this blog is not about Derek, it’s about the human mind, the soma of trauma and how you move on but ping easily back like knicker elastic.

There was a satisfying thud on the doormat today, this arrived.

This folks is the big wedge of paperwork from my stay in hospital in that misty time of ambulances and worry. I requested this pre-Derek as a way of accessing old addresses for my Irish naturalisation application. To prove I lived here when I said I did. I’d actually forgotten about it such was the gap between request and response.

I opened up the envelope and in an instant I was back there in turmoil, pain and confusion. Thumbing through with big heavy tears and feeling overwhelmed. It makes for very interesting reading. Firstly, it showed me the amount of work and personnel involved in putting just one person back together (this was only for my 9 day hospital stay). It made me even more grateful for the amazing NHS and the magical people that work for it. Secondly, it filled in the gaps for me. I got to see on paper the steps taken whilst I was out of it happily floating in another dimension whilst chaos ensued. When you are disconnected from an event in the way I was (being unconscious) it’s still hard to fully understand everything that transpired. Seeing it written down was a big moment of awakening for me especially the part that took me through my surgery, I got to find out how I was lying on the bed, that my eyes were taped up, that they elevated my feet. All these little details that place me in that room instead of it feeling like a film I once saw.

The biggest poke in the eye however was the triage and admittance log. When I arrived at hospital my Coma Scale rating was 3. For those not familiar with the Glasgow Coma Scale, 3 is the lowest number, it’s about as unconscious as you can get apart from being dead. There’s also frightening statistics that people with a 3 rating have a 85% chance of dying. I was teetering on the cliff edge and I’m bloody lucky to be here. I had a 15% chance of survival and for some reason I did. Now if that isn’t completely sobering I don’t know what is.

Looking at all of this in pen and ink was mind boggling. Another layer has been added to this story. As I write this I’m watery eyed and it feels, for a brief time, like living it all again.

So you see, this is why Derek holds no fear for me, I’ve met Derek before in a different guise, I looked him in the eye, rolled the dice and thankfully I woke up. I WOKE UP. That’s why despite everything life is beautiful and unpredictable and joyful. I don’t get to do what I used to do, life is quiet and slow but I’m content. My goodness, never before has the simple act of just opening my eyes been so important.

stay well and stay happy my headbangers.

x

 

 

 

 

6

Just breathe

Hello all,

Well here we are in the midst of a Pandemic. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to really write anything about this virus. There’s already enough shouting going on out there on the net and in the (trash) media. Adding my voice is just more noise, but then I thought that it may be worth just voicing how it is for me and hope that it resonates with some of my fellow headbangers.

I’ll start by saying, If this had happened a few years ago I’d be running to the hills in a hazmat suit and building an underground bunker such was my anxiety and mistrust in the world. Today, whilst acknowledging that it’s scary for some people, I will admit to not feeling frightened or panicked by any of this. When I see everyone losing their heads I wonder if I’ve just totally lost my marbles and I really SHOULD be frightened. On reflection, my marbles are intact, in fact I’ve probably got a few more than most at the moment.

But you see, fear isn’t helping, it doesn’t cure the virus, it won’t stop the virus spreading, it doesn’t help your fellow person and it certainly isn’t good for your mental health. All that fear is doing is making people lose the run of themselves and buy toilet roll. I’m coming at this from a place of calm but prepared. The measures we are told to take such as washing hands and social distancing are absolutely correct. Self isolating if you have symptoms is also doing a great service to yourselves and others. Outside of that I am remaining resolute, hopeful and positive. Anything else is a waste of energy.

The Corona virus has in a lot of ways revealed our humanity and to be honest some of that humanity is downright disappointing. The actions of people piling high their shopping trolleys and not giving a shit about their neighbours access to food and supplies is selfish. There are others who are giving away their family pets to shelters and overburdening the workload at them because they think they’ll catch it off their dogs and cats (they won’t, let’s get that straight). Some are even trying to get vets to murder their healthy animals (it is not compassionate euthanasia when there is no health issue with the pet). This is stupidity. No other word for it.

Please just stop thinking just about yourselves and see that with connection and compassion we are much more useful in a crisis.

When people consume rolling news, hyperbolic social media and tabloid newspapers this is adding to the misinformation and panic. So please for the sake of yourselves, find reliable, scientific sources for news on this pandemic and check on those once a day. Facebook is 1000x more toxic than this virus and is not a place for nuanced rationality. As for the newspapers, it’s probably better to just wipe your arse on those!

As for the tin foil hat brigade, the ‘manufactured bio weapon, 5G, it’s all a plot’ tosspots, those who take great delight in scaring others, well they can just feck off. Those people live in a world of fear, their heads are full of threat and menace at every corner, they love things like this, it gets them salivating, it also lets them negate any responsibility at their part in all of this as it’s ‘somebody else’s fault’ and unfortunately they are given more oxygen than they should. IGNORE THEM. Start to think critically and calmly. A collective deep breath is needed right now. Just take one, count to ten, there, much better.

Also if you’re one of these people that mock Vegans on a regular basis but are now buying all the plant milk out of the shops (‘haha you can’t milk an almond stupid Vegan, oops I’ll just stick 10 cartons of that in my trolley, thank you’). I SEE YOU.

There are many lessons to be learned from this Pandemic, we need to stop eating animals, we need to care more about each other, we need to stop whizzing around the world all the time on polluting aeroplanes, we need to stop looking to government to save us (newsflash: they don’t care, never have, never will, couldn’t ‘sensible decision’ their way out of a paper bag). This is a communal effort, don’t wait to be told by bloody Boris to do the thing, just DO the thing. Lessons that some will take on board but unfortunately we’ll go back to our planet destroying, animal murdering capitalist ways soon enough. Maybe I’m wrong, I hope I’m wrong. I hope this is the kick up the arse we needed.

For my more vulnerable headbanging friends, stay safe, stay well, keep your distance. I love you. This too will pass. I’m here on the internet if you get lonely and need a chat.

xx

0

From the dark icy fingers of Winter

Greetings to you all from my bed, the wind is howling outside, Agent Cooper is snoring like a little piglet at my feet and I’m bored out of my tiny mind.

I’m sat here as another wave of relapse washes over me, one that I was getting warnings for in the shape of dizziness and emotional deregulation but ignored because, well, I thought I was done with all that by now.

I managed to navigate the festive period without too much stress. Whenever anyone asks me what I’m doing for Yule I always say “something nice and quiet”. I can’t stand the fanfare of that time of year, the noise, the rush, the pressure. It’s just not me, I never really enjoyed it pre brain damage. As for New Years Eve I was asleep by 10pm. Rock and roll eh? I find New Year problematic because it’s a time when the slate is wiped clean and we all act like this is the year where everything changes….except it doesn’t.

It’s funny because I’m actually a very optimistic person but I’m also a realist. I know my 2020 is going to look a lot like my 2019. Gone are the heady days of my youth where it was all exciting. In fact most of our 2020’s are just 2019 rebooted. Of course it’s nice to plan change and look forward to adventure but sometimes with the society we live in it can feel like pushing against a very big, very solid wall.

I do try to not let political shenanigans infringe on my life, we know it’s all panto right? It’s best not to rely on those in ‘power’ to make things better. I mean as if Politicians are going to sort your life out. But when people all around are losing hope, what the eff is midnight on December 31st going to miraculously do?

Anyway, I didn’t want to depress you all. I suppose I’m saying this time of year as the muggles celebrate it is not for me. I much prefer honouring the Winter Solstice, the return of the sun and more importantly the return of HOPE. We made it. We will see the long days of Summer again. Those days of sweet breezes blowing through the heat. The abundance of colour and life. I do romanticise Summer but isn’t it great to have this nugget of excitement stirring.

Mr Braingirl and I have plans this Summer to do a driving tour of Ireland (please please please let me have the energy). We want to find those little hidden places and ancestral landscapes. We want to seek forgotten standing stones with stories to tell and peek into fairy raths. Now that’s worth smiling about.

So even though it seems like it, not everything is shit. Maybe tuning our eyes and ears a little more into the good stuff helps create positive change.

Myself and Mr Braingirl do small things, we don’t have much but what we have we share when we can and I think that’s the important thing here. It’s about getting stuck in at the grassroots, lending a hand or an ear or a vegan sausage roll when it’s needed and spreading a little bit of love and joy.

Let me know what is worth smiling about for you.

x

 

 

2

It feels like ages.

Hello headbangers,

it’s freezing isn’t it? And bloody wet too.

I’ve not given the writing side of this blog much attention recently and I should, really I should. Instead I’ve been pottering and uploading little videos to Youtube. As well as the longer stuff I’ve been uploading here there’s also some 2-3 min snapshots of me doing stuff like talking about my garden and wandering around in nature.

If you’re interested in subscribing to that kind of nonsense here’s the link

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBgdg6zMB00tPWgNo-sjppg

However, due to T&C’s changing and COPPA coming after Youtube that channel may disappear down the plug hole, so I might also start uploading straight onto here too. Not figured out the technicalities of that yet as most of the short videos are done on my phone but I’ll see.

Hope you are all well and hunkering down for Winter. Please let me know how things are going down in the comments, I’ve been a terrible neglectful blogger.

Just wanted to pop on and let you all know I’m still here. You’ll also notice a slight change to the look of the blog, just fancied a tinker around really.

Look after your brains and see you soon

x

p.s. Just been told this is my 100th post on here. Blimey, I do go on don’t I?

4

7 years later…..

Hello headbangers!

It’s that time of year again. The heavy woolly overcoat that is my TBI anniversary. This year I’ve made a video. Please do watch and comment, I value everyone’s input.

Also if you have a YouTube account you can subscribe to me as I do put up little videos in between my monthly posts that don’t get shared here.

On with the show as they say